Choose the telephoto lens that works best for you

1. What is telephoto lens?

apexel telephoto lens

Telephoto lens, let you see very far lens namely, the general lens of 200mm above is a telephoto lens, and some telephoto lens of special use can reach more 800mm, 1200mm and so on, very exaggerated. And we can buy most of the daily 200mm or 300mm level.

High-quality telephoto lenses are often one of the first professional lenses photographers add to their kit. The 70-200mm lens is considered a medium telephoto lens and has proved very useful for many photographers with its versatility. It can photograph everything from portraits to wildlife and sport.

Technically, a telephoto lens is any lens with a physical length less than the focal length. In common language, however, photographers usually refer to anything in the telephoto field that has a focal length of more than 75 mm.

Long lenses capture a very narrow field of vision, which allows the camera to look closely at distant objects. Telephoto lenses can be zoom lenses, but zoom lenses need not be telephoto lenses. A telephoto lens is anything over 300mm, and once that range is reached, a telephoto lens is more likely to become a prime lens, meaning it has only one focal length. Telephoto camera lenses over 300mm are commonly used by sports photographers and wildlife shooters.

2. Choose the telephoto lens that works best for you

apexel telephoto lens

The 70-200mm telephoto lens is an extremely versatile lens, favored by photojournalists, wedding photographers, concert photographers, and sports photographers. You can even use it as a flattering portrait lens. Because it lets you decide how far away you want to stay from your subject, you have complete control over the amount of perspective distortion that appears in your photo.

A telephoto lens lets the photographer put more distance between himself and his photo, which is helpful between subjects when you can’t get up close to the photo you’re taking. Running around the stage during a concert, running onto the field during a game, or crowding brides and grooms to shoot during a wedding would be a major photographic faux pas. In these cases, the photographer needs to capture the moment, not the distraction. Telephoto lenses help them do this.

In some cases, photographers may find themselves needing more space between themselves and their subjects. It’s not uncommon for photographers to have 300-500mm long telephoto lenses on the sidelines of professional sports events. Ultra-telephoto lenses like this are also a favorite of wildlife photographers. If you enjoy photographing wild animals, it is important to put a long distance between yourself and the animals. However, if you want a large aperture, that long lens is usually very large and expensive.

Zoom lenses with large zoom ranges are attractive because they guarantee everything from wide-angle coverage to ultra-telephoto performance. However, it is worth noting that these lenses generally introduce a lot of distortion and vignetting at a wider focal length, and can only provide very slow operations when magnifying. Unfortunately, there is no magic shot for every situation. At least not yet.

3. Things to consider when buying telephoto lenses

apexel telephoto lens

Choosing the right telephoto lens has a lot to do with what you plan to shoot with it, your camera brand, and your budget. Telephoto lenses are an investment lens, and the price tag reflects that. Longer telephoto lenses will be more expensive than medium-length telephoto lenses. Telephoto lenses typically cost more than $1,000 because of the glass elements inside the lens.

Look for lenses that have some degree of built-in stability. Always be aware of camera shake when shooting, but when you shoot with a telephoto lens, the camera movement caused by vibration is more noticeable. Shooting at a high shutter speed can help reduce camera jitter, but this is not always feasible, especially if you use a budget telephoto that only offers a slow maximum aperture. If your lens doesn’t have any built-in shock absorption, you’ll definitely want to use a tripod to help stabilize the lens. Telephoto lenses tend to be very heavy, and having them on a tripod also helps lighten the load on your shoulders.

If you buy a very high-end product, you can look for additional features, such as a button to lock the focus or a more advanced image stabilization mode that you can adjust depending on what you’re shooting.

4. Use of telephoto lens tips

apexel telephoto lens

With telephoto lenses, what do you need to pay attention to when using them? Are there any special techniques?

(1) Use telephotos to measure light

Take outdoor portraits as an example. When shooting, the metering mode is a matrix. If the wide light end is used to the metering camera will calculate the overall light amount to determine exposure, then the portrait face will have a chance to underexposure and become a black face”.

In this case, we can zoom in so that the face of the model fills the frame, then press AE-L to lock the meter, lock the exposure value and set it back to the wide-angle to refocus or compose. This method ensures that the face of the model has the correct exposure.

(2) Use a tripod

When taken in the use of long focal length, often easy to take photos by camera shake, especially under the insufficient light place, and many don’t have a constant zoom lens aperture, its biggest aperture will reduce with the increase of focal length available, and lead to the shutter speed becoming very slow, so using a tripod to help telephoto shooting is safe.

(3) Use a hood

Whether to use the hood is not only in the appearance of the difference, in the actual shooting, but also different. The hood reduces the impact of flare and diffuse light, which is important for telephoto lenses.

(4) Use an extended lens

Adding an extender to a telephoto lens allows you to take longer shots, especially of the moon and birds.

(5) Make good use of the compression effect of telephoto

Telephoto can effectively compress the subject and the background so that the distance between the subject and the background seems to be “closer”, which you can try.

(6) Use telephotos to create depth of field

The depth of the field consists of aperture, focal point, and focal length. The longer the focal length, the easier it is to create a shallow depth of field.

If you are a new photographer and want to purchase telephoto lenses, you can send a message to Apexel email: sales@apexeloptic.com1. I look forward to hearing from you.  


Why are telephoto lenses so expensive? 
Telephoto lenses are usually expensive lenses because they consist of so many elements and have a more complex structure than lenses with shorter focal lengths. The internal components of standard telephoto lenses reduce chromatic aberration, reduce vibration to avoid camera shake, and reduce double reflection and glare. 

How to choose a telephoto lens? 
Choosing the right telephoto lens for you depends on your subject, the brand of camera you use, and your budget. Telephoto lenses above 300mm are generally more expensive than lenses in the 70-200mm range. A wildlife or sports photographer might use a 300mm lens more than someone planning to shoot live music or a wedding. Make sure the telephoto lens you buy is compatible with your camera body, which is especially important when buying third-party lenses. 

What’s the difference between telephoto and a zoom lens? 
These words are often used incorrectly interchangeably and can be confusing if you’re new to photography. A telephoto lens is usually defined as one with a narrow field of view and a focal length of more than 70mm, while a zoom lens is defined as any lens that can change the focal length of the lens. Many telephoto lenses are zoom lenses, but not all zoom lenses are telephoto lenses. 

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